About Child Care P-EBT Benefits
Child Care Pandemic-EBT provides grocery benefits for eligible infants and children under the age of six.
Child Care P-EBT works with SNAP Benefits
To be eligible for Child Care P-EBT, your child must have been under the age of six as of October 1, 2022 and enrolled in SNAP, also known as LINK, sometime between August 2021 and May 2022. Even if you were enrolled in SNAP for only some of this time, your family may be eligible as long as your child meets the eligibility requirements below.
Get answers to your questions about Child Care P-EBT food benefits for Illinois residents who were enrolled in SNAP between August 2021 and May 2022 below. (Leer en español.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Child Care Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) gives food benefits to eligible children in a SNAP household.
To be eligible, a child must meet all three points below:
- Been under the age of 6 as of 10/1/2021.
- Been in a household that received SNAP benefits between August 2021 and May 2022. Each month is assessed on a month-by-month basis and only the benefit months where the child was in an approved SNAP household will be counted for Child Care P-EBT eligibility.
- Not have received School P-EBT for the same month.
No, you don’t need to apply for Child Care P-EBT benefits. Eligible families who were enrolled in SNAP from August 2021 to May 2022 will automatically receive Child Care P-EBT on their existing LINK card.
If your child is currently enrolled in SNAP, no additional action is needed. Child Care P-EBT benefits will be loaded onto your LINK card automatically.
If your child meets the eligibility criteria but is no longer receiving SNAP, benefits will be put on the household’s former LINK card. If you need to order a new card, you can call 1-800-678-5465 or go to ebt-link.illinois.gov to manage your LINK account to order a new card.
Benefits are sent based on when you normally have SNAP benefits disbursed.
- Benefits will be issued to eligible children between 6/11/2022 – 6/21/2022 for August 2021 through December 2021 benefits.
- Benefits will be issued to eligible children between 7/11/2022 – 7/21/2022 for January 2022 through May 2022 benefits.
If your child is eligible, the child will receive an average of $31.77 for each eligible month for the months of August 2021 to December 2021. The benefit amount and eligibility will be re-assessed for the months of January through May of 2022.
Child Care P-EBT benefits are on your existing LINK card and can be used like a debit card to purchase food at SNAP/LINK authorized grocery stores.
No, you do not need to use the benefits the same month they were issued. However, benefits are removed after 274 days (9 months) of inactivity. A purchase of any amount ensures that your benefits will not be removed.
No, your child did not need to be in a daycare setting at any time to be eligible for Child Care P-EBT. Regardless of who was taking care of them during the day, your child would be eligible if they meet the Child Care P-EBT eligibility requirements.
Yes, for any month between August 2021 and May 2022 that a child meets the above eligibility requirements, Child Care P-EBT benefits will be issued. You do not need to have been eligible for SNAP for the entire period. However, you will only receive benefits for the months your child was approved to receive SNAP.
Your child is still eligible for Child Care P-EBT benefits from August 2021 to May 2022. If you are no longer enrolled in SNAP, you can still use your existing LINK card if you have it. If you still have your PIN, you can call the LINK hotline to order a new card at 1-800-678-5465.
If your child’s sixth birthday was October 1, 2021, then they are not eligible for Child Care P-EBT benefits. If they turned 6 after October 1, 2021, then they are possibly eligible for the months before their sixth birthday as long as they meet the other requirements.
No. Children who receive School P-EBT benefits cannot also get Child Care P-EBT benefits, even if they are an eligible age.
Yes, you can receive both programs as long as you meet the eligibility requirements of both.
Yes, your participation in government programs does not affect your ability to get food from a food pantry.
No, Child Care P-EBT will not count in a public charge test. All children are eligible regardless of immigration status. Read Protecting Immigrant Families: Public Charge – Know Your Rights (pdf) to learn what public benefits affect the public charge test.
A separate P-EBT benefit program was available for school-age children. Learn more and find out if your family was eligible.